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Top 10 Most Iconic Welsh Football Matches

Welsh fans have enjoyed – and endured – some memorable international moments over the years.

Whether it was Craig Bellamy’s winner against Italy in 2002, Paul Bodin’s penalty miss versus Romania in 1993 or John Charles and co starring at the 1958 World Cup.

Here at DragonBet we’ve taken a look at some of the most iconic Welsh football matches

April 23, 1927 – Arsenal 0, Cardiff City 1.

The one and only time the FA Cup has spent 12 months being polished up outside of England. It was not a classic final and it was decided by a scrappy goal.

But it’s probably the most famous club game in Welsh football history, decided by Hughie Ferguson’s goal after a blunder by Arsenal’s Welsh goalkeeper Dan Lewis. Enough for them to build a statute at the club in honour of captain Fred Keenor.

June 19, 1958 – Brazil 1, Wales 0

Wales had made their first World Cup finals, but were up against a free-flowing Brazil side in the quarter-finals in Norrkoping, Sweden.

They were doing okay, too, until a 17-year-old kid called Pele scored his first World Cup goal, later detailed in the superb book “When Pele Broke Our Hearts” by author Mario Risoli.

March 10, 1971 – Cardiff City 1, Real Madrid 0

It was the quarter-finals of the old European Cup Winners’ Cup and the Bluebirds were at home in the first leg to the Spanish giants.

In front of a packed Ninian Park, a thumping header from Brian Clark gave Cardiff the win over a team rated as the best in European football at the time.

October 12, 1977 – Scotland 2, Wales 0

Both countries knew a win would take them to the World Cup finals the following year in Argentina, but it was a match that sparked decades of controversy.

Scotland won a penalty even though replays showed it was their striker Joe Jordan who handled the ball. “I’m reminded of it every time I cross the Severn Bridge,” said Jordan decades later. Quite right, too.

January 4, 1992 – Wrexham 2, Arsenal 1

It was the third round of the FA Cup and Arsenal arrived at The Racecourse as the star-studded champions of England.

They went 1-0 up, but a brilliantly struck Mickey Thomas free-kick levelled things up eight minutes from the end before Steve Watkin scored the winner two minutes later. A proper Welsh giant-killing.

November 17, 1993 – Wales 1, Romania 2

Once again Wales were so close to the World Cup finals, they could smell it – but it all turned to bad odour.

The magical Gheorghe Hagi put Romania ahead before Dean Saunders equalised. Soon after Wales were awarded a penalty, but Paul Bodin smacked the ball against the bar and Florin Raducioiu scored a late winner to break Welsh hearts again.

May 30, 2011 – Reading 2, Swansea City 4

Swansea City became the first Welsh club to reach the Premier League by winning a nerve-shredding Championship play-off final at Wembley.

The Swans went 3-0 up through two goals from Scott Sinclair and a third from Stephen Dobbie. But the Royals came roaring back to make it 3-2, before Sinclair’s hat-trick goal sparked joyful scenes – and an eight-year stint in the top flight.

February 24, 2013 – Bradford City 0, Swansea City 5

The Premier League Swans were huge favourites against League Two Bradford City and they lived up to their billing with a dominant, thumping victory to earn their first major trophy.

Nathan Dyer (2), Michu and Jonathan De Guzman (2) scored the goals in a one-sided final and manager Michael Laudrup didn’t disturb a hair on his head when he was thrown into the air in celebration.

July 1, 2016 – Belgium 1, Wales 3

Few outside of Wales gave Wales much hope against one of the Euro 2016 finals favourites, but it proved to be an unforgettable night for anyone Welsh in Lille.

Radja Nainggolan put Belgium ahead, but Wales skipper Ashley Williams headed home to make it 1-1.

Then, Hal Robson-Kanu pulled off a Cruyff-turn and scored an absolute worldie, before a magnificent header late on by Sam Vokes put Wales in dreamland and in the tournament semi-finals.

June 5, 2022 – Wales 1, Ukraine 0

The rest of the world wanted Ukraine to win this World Cup play-off tie following Russia’s invasion, but Wales wanted it even more.

It was an occasion that had everything – the Red Wall singing Yma o Hyd along with Dafydd Iwan, chances for both teams, and then a Gareth Bale free-kick to take Wales to the finals for the first time for 64 years.

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